Snow Travel

Alpine News - - News - By Steve Cuff

PRE­PAR­ING for an over­seas snow hol­i­day can be daunt­ing or easy, de­pend­ing on which way you at­tack the task. Per­son­ally, I would pre­fer to leave it to the travel agent, es­pe­cially if I was trav­el­ling to a new re­sort.

That could be dif­fer­ent if you are re­turn­ing to the same re­sort each year, but let’s be hon­est here, there are so many fan­tas­tic re­sorts to visit in a life­time, so why keep be­ing a re­peat cus­tomer when the snow world awaits.

Felic­ity Moss at Mogul Ski World knows a thing or twenty about all snow re­sorts, hav­ing been in the busi­ness of snow hol­i­days now for 37 years. When we quiz her, it is in­ter­est­ing to see what the cur­rent trends are and where peo­ple are trav­el­ling to.

It also helps to know that Mogul staff do travel to the re­sorts to gain first-hand ex­pe­ri­ence, so you know when you are talk­ing to staff they know all the tricks to make your hol­i­day run smoothly.

While you spend most time on the slopes, you will want a nice apart­ment with Felic­ity say­ing, “We send staff to all dif­fer­ent re­sorts to ex­pe­ri­ence the re­sorts first hand. Not only do they ski or board the re­sort, but they spend many hours do­ing in­spec­tions of the ho­tels, chalets and apart­ments, keep­ing up to date with new build­ings and those that are be­ing con­stantly up­dated or those that are no longer suitable for our clients.”

“We have about 70 re­sorts from all around the north­ern hemi­sphere in our brochure and some­one in our of­fice would have been to nearly all of them.”

So knowl­edge­able staff is a great start­ing point and they also know all the lat­est deals of what is hap­pen­ing at each re­sort. That could in­flu­ence some of your de­ci­sion mak­ing just as the lat­est deals on great lift pass pack­ages could sway your de­ci­sions.

Nat­u­rally the big­ger re­sorts have great ap­peal, boast­ing big moun­tains and vast ter­rain, but that can also mean busier slopes, so dis­count lit­tle brother re­sorts.

WHISTLER BLACKCOMB

Whistler Blackcomb is al­ways pop­u­lar and un­der the Vail Re­sorts ban­ner where the Epic Pass helps you save. Di­rect flights to Van­cou­ver and a com­fort­able three-hour coach ride from plane de­par­ture to vil­lage ho­tel will see you carv­ing up the slopes in no time.

There is only one word to de­scribe Whistler and that is BIG. It has ev­ery­thing you would ever dream of in a snow hol­i­day from open bowls, steep couloirs, very long cruis­ing blue and green groomed runs and a vil­lage at­mos­phere to match. Mogul Ski World has amaz­ing Whistler spe­cials, but they do fill quickly.

ASPEN SNOWMASS

Aspen Snowmass in Col­orado has al­ways been an Aus­tralian favourite, and with four moun­tains to choose from and the beau­ti­ful town of Aspen for après, res­tau­rants and nightlife, it has it all. They have ex­cep­tional ski­ing and ter­rain, plus when you have a ded­i­cated après ski page on your web­site, you know they like to party.

Après ski in Aspen and Snowmass Vil­lage is treated as more than just some­thing to do af­ter a day of ski­ing and rid­ing - it’s con­sid­ered a lifestyle.

It does not al­ways mean the big­ger re­sorts are bet­ter and what is some­times classed as a ‘smaller re­sort’ is far from it when it comes to on moun­tain op­tions. All these re­sorts have great ho­tels and apart­ments, good res­tau­rants, shop­ping and lots of other ac­tiv­i­ties. Apart from all of this they are at a bet­ter price point.

SUN PEAKS

Sun Peaks in Canada has been a reg­u­lar fix­ture on Aus­tralian radars and is also per­fect for fam­i­lies. With a quaint vil­lage and a qui­eter at­mos­phere, it has plenty of pos­i­tives to en­tice you.

There is a great mix of ter­rain for all lev­els that can you see you blast­ing top to bot­tom on per­fect cor­duroy or whisk­ing through the pine trees on a great pow­der day. And I must say I am par­tial to the oc­ca­sional soft bump runs af­ter a snow storm and have ex­pe­ri­enced some of the best here at the top of Sun Peaks.

Sun Peaks has also an­nounced $60m in re­sort de­vel­op­ments in­clud­ing a new quad chair. This is a great news for one of the best ski in ski out vil­lages.

TEL­LURIDE

Tel­luride is some­what off the main route which is one of its great strengths. Those lucky enough to have vis­ited this his­toric town all vouch for sen­sa­tional ski­ing and a town that has a dif­fer­ent vibe to others.

This year Tel­luride has aligned with the Epic Pass, with hold­ers re­ceiv­ing seven days of ski­ing or snow­board­ing with no black­out dates at Tel­luride and 50 per­cent off lift tick­ets af­ter the seven days have been re­deemed.

BANFF

Banff in Canada of­fers a great all-round ex­pe­ri­ence to skiers par­tic­u­larly the younger mar­ket. Al­though it is not ski in ski out, the town is very vi­brant with lots of res­tau­rants, bars, nightlife and some great shop­ping. You can ski at nearby Norquay, or catch trans­port to Sun­shine Vil­lage and Lake Louise, the lat­ter a huge re­sort and all with some of the best scenery in Canada.

Aus­tralians have a strong af­fil­i­a­tion with Ja­panese re­sorts and ev­ery­one has heard about the leg­endary pow­der snow. If you have vis­ited you can at­test to those sto­ries be­ing real and not snow tales, the pow­der is sen­sa­tional.

NISEKO

Niseko is con­tin­u­ing to grow and still is the most pop­u­lar with the Aus­tralian mar­ket for re­sorts in Ja­pan, even though a lot of smaller re­sorts are now on the radar. Skiers are find­ing these bou­tique ar­eas very in­ter­est­ing with more Ja­panese cul­ture and a lit­tle less crowded.

While Europe is fur­ther trav­el­ling, the tra­di­tion of ski­ing the Alps should lure you in and it is al­ways pop­u­lar. Val d’Isere, in the Savoie area of France is a big draw­card where you have huge ter­rain op­tions that will see you ski­ing for hours one way be­fore your re­turn to the charm­ing vil­lage.

There has been a move back to Lech and St. An­ton in Aus­tria, where you will find tra­di­tion is part of the fur­ni­ture here. Two Mogul Ski staff vis­ited these re­sorts this year so they are up to date with ev­ery­thing new.

SU­PER PASSES

The snow busi­ness is very com­pet­i­tive and the big win­ner in the pass war is cer­tainly the con­sumer. The big three choices are the new Ikon Pass, the Epic Pass and Aus­tralian Epic Pass that in­cludes Per­isher and the Moun­tain Col­lec­tive. In the Mogul Ski brochure this year they ex­plain in more de­tail, but here is a snip­pet of what re­sorts the passes of­fer.

IKON PASS

The new­est pass on the mar­ket, the Ikon Pass has a top pedi­gree of the best re­sorts in North Amer­ica. There are dif­fer­ent op­tion passes that have some re­stric­tions, but you would need years to ski them all.

Re­sorts like Aspen Snowmass, Alta and Snow­bird, Deer Val­ley Re­sort, Jack­son Hole Moun­tain Re­sort, Big Sky Re­sort, Killing­ton Re­sort, Revel­stoke Moun­tain Re­sort, Su­gar­bush Re­sort and Canadas Sk­iBig3: Banff Sun­shine, Lake Louise, Mt. Norquay.

Add to that Steam­boat, Win­ter Park Re­sort, Cop­per Moun­tain Re­sort, El­dora Moun­tain Re­sort, Squaw Val­ley Alpine Mead­ows, Mam­moth Moun­tain, Big Bear Moun­tain Re­sort, June Moun­tain, Strat­ton, Snow­shoe Moun­tain, Trem­blant, Blue Moun­tain, Sun­day River, Su­gar­loaf and Loon Moun­tain.

EPIC PASS

Vail Re­sorts’ Epic Pass is one of the best on of­fer, and if you buy the Aus­tralian ver­sion you can ski at Per­isher all sea­son and then the best of North Amer­ica. Choose from this list of high pro­file re­sorts the Aus­tralian Epic Pass or Epic Pass al­lows ac­cess. De­pend­ing on ex­act pass, some may have re­stric­tions in hol­i­day pe­ri­ods.

Epic list in­cludes Whistler Blackcomb, Vail and Beaver Creek, Park City, Heav­enly, North­star, Kirk­wood, Breck­en­ridge, Key­stone, Ara­pa­hoe Basin and Stowe. Hakuba Val­ley in Ja­pan and Tel­luride are aligned with the pass.

MOUN­TAIN COL­LEC­TIVE

The Moun­tain Col­lec­tive of­fers a pass with two free days at each re­sort, bonus third day at a re­sort of choice and then 50% dis­count on ad­di­tional days. Re­sorts in­clude Alta, Aspen Snowmass, Banff Sun­shine, Big Sky, Jack­son Hole, Lake Louise, Mam­moth, Revel­stoke, Snow­basin, Snow­bird, Square Val­ley Alpine Mead­ows, Su­gar­bush, Sun Val­ley, Taos, Thredbo and Coronet Peak.

Whistler of­fers huge ter­rain and Epic Pass ben­e­fits. Photo Paul Mor­ri­son / Whistler

PHOTO: Jack­son Hole

Jack­son Hole is a favourite of the ad­vanced skiers and is on the Ikon list.

PHOTO: Ben Eng / Tel­luride

Tel­luride has grown in rep­u­ta­tion for Aus­tralians.

PHOTO: Royce Sih­lis / Revel­stoke.

Revel­stoke is part of the Ikon Pass.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.